Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    November 24, 2010 11:30am-12:00pm PST

11:30 am
it will involve employers and agencies around the city. that is a summarized version of my report. i'm glad to answer any questions. that concludes my report. commissioner mirkarimi: any comments or questions? any public comment on items three or item four? public comment is closed. >> we could go back to item one. i know that commissioner avalos is not here today. he has a sick child. he asked that he be excused for this meeting. commissioner mirkarimi: let me just finish on this item, but absolutely. item three and four is closed. we will continue these items at the call of the chair. so moved. returning back, i'm hearing a motion to excuse commissioner of avalos.
11:31 am
commissioner mirkarimi: very good. so moved. please read and item five. >> progress report on limited scope performance audit. commissioner mirkarimi: it was earlier this year, colleagues, that we recommended and then we pursued an audit of the municipal transportation authority. with the guidance of commissioner campos, we initiated a two phase process of the mta transportatiotransporta. the first was by our own budget analyst and focused on compliance with state and federal regulation in identifying areas where there could be potential savings to
11:32 am
the operating budget. that effort did identify some welcome opportunities, i think it would be fair to characterize those as marginal in terms of how much they could help with the structural deficit in our long-term concerns. when the phase was completed, we discussed the next steps. i proposed to move with a second phase, funded with proposition k dollars. there are opportunities to ensure through the capital program that the mta investment projects that result in better service for the people who take transit -- so we procured a second audit process with a firm, cgr. the auditors are here today. it's still very early in the process. we are not expecting findings.
11:33 am
a number of board members, commissioners, have been interviewed. this is an opportunity to further understand the scope of the audit and how it is proceeding and relevant to our ongoing concerns about budget matters and efficiency matters regarding the mta. commissioner campos and the staff have been working with cgr, as has my office. i want to ask commissioner campos if he has any comments before the presentation. commissioner campos: thank you very much, mr. chairman. i think you have essentially summarize how we got here and where the work is. i just look forward to hearing from cgr in terms of the status and in terms of the process. i think it is good for the rest of the transportation authority to hear that.
11:34 am
i do not have anything to add at this point. commissioner mirkarimi: thank you. cgr, will you please join us? >> mr. chairman, commissioners, my name is jim ayers. in a principal with cgr management consultants. my team members here are jim kennedy and keith kennedy. commissioner mirkarimi: i'm going to ask you to speak directly into the microphone. thank you. >> sorry. just to refresh your memory is about the three functional areas that you chartered in the audit, these are the three. they are important for a couple of reasons. one, we want to focus very much
11:35 am
on the questions and issues that you presented to us. we have also had some differences with mta in terms of setting up meetings and perhaps trying to limit the scope of the meetings and the coverage we can do with any individual to a preselected items on this list. we do not consider these three areas -- they are interlinked. they're not stand alone. that is an artificial kind of separation. one of the first tasks that we had was to focus the audit on
11:36 am
particular areas of interest. that cost us to make these items in scope. when we had our entrancts conference, we wanted to make sure we had but central subway project included. one of the other themes that we heard in the meeting is getting value for money. finding other ways to be more efficient, other than cutting budget costs. here is our task structure. we've provided our first deliverable, which i believe
11:37 am
came to you electronically. it was an initial assessment. that was deliverable on october 29. we are probably going to be late because of noise we had including access to mta staff. commissioner mirkarimi: what was the reason? >> because of problems in getting access to the staffs at mta. we had a window of interviews. and the reason has to do with conditions that i mentioned before about which topics we would be limited to, and also to have questions in advance
11:38 am
that we would be asking during those interviews. we escalated this issue to supervisor campos' office and we are in the process of getting resolution. anyway, we think this will probably have an impact on our schedule of up to four weeks. we will try to keep the process moving as quickly as we can, of course, but we have lots of time. moving on into some of the components of the audit, one key feature is what we call referenced projects. a reference project is a way to go back and look at specific
11:39 am
projects, how they were initiated, and what the budget was at the point, and what happened during the execution of the process. it is like an auditor might sample accounts. one of the three criteria here -- only one of the criteria has to be met. our analysis and documentation has three fundamental components. the first component is how mta defines a process now. that is something that can be gleaned from written procedures.
11:40 am
in the absence of a written procedure, there may be a presentation, so how they say they do it. the second component is best practice. best practice is our opinion. it comes from sources like the institute for asset management and other sources. the third one, and this is where the referenced project comes in, this is what the current practice is. is there evidence that the written procedure is being followed? the audit report organization will be in this format.
11:41 am
we will have three sections. the first is called enablers and controls. we do not call it that. it is the infrastructure or the environment in which the products are carried out. it would be like what a road is to an automobile. a road enables an automobile to travel from place to place. the second component is porfolio and program management. that means selecting the right projects, the process you go through all the time. setting priorities, how that is done, and how it compares with
11:42 am
the best practices. the third component is the project itself, and that is during the construction, and during the purchase, or during the rehab and how that is carried out. are there any questions? commissioner mirkarimi: just one, and i think commissioner campos might want to underscore this as well. i take it that this audit will only be as effective as we hope based on the collaboration of mta to provide you access to information. in your experience, if you have not received that kind of access, what has generally been
11:43 am
your standard practice in dealing with these type of situations? >> well, the value of the whole effort will be enhanced by their efforts. your spot on with that observation. some adversarial audits will be paper based. you do not have the insight that you get from these people. they may not review the preliminary findings and documentation that you want to provide to them. that makes it richer. that makes it less susceptible to criticism later by the agency after you have published your findings. they have a sense, perhaps, of participation in it. and no surprises.
11:44 am
no surprises. unfettered access is vital. commissioner mirkarimi: commissioner campos. commissioner campos: thank you, mr. chairman. i'm confident that we will be able to work collaborative with the mta. i have a meeting with the executive director to talk about issues with respect to access to the information. i'm confident we will be able to do that. the second thing, a quick question for the auditors. i just want to make sure, in terms of the budget, if you see yourselves staying within the budget that has been allocated. we want to make sure we are as close to the budget as possible. commissioner mirkarimi: it is the holidays. be careful. >> we respect that concern.
11:45 am
the flow chart showed everything in a sequence. we are doing things in parallel. there's a lot of behind-the- scenes work. we dial thback our billing rates to do everything we can to stay within the budget. we take pride, in general, and not going back for additional funds, unless there is mutually agreed to changes. commissioner mirkarimi: thank you. thank you, commissioner campos , for your focus on this. i want to emphasize one point that i think will be helpful for all of us. that is some sort of early warning system that provides us a heads up. especially with the holiday schedules in the next few months
11:46 am
and the fluctuations in government, that we are provided as much early notice so that if access to information is not a fluid that we know. the last thing we want is to eat up the clock or the contract of cgr and then discover at the end of the contract that we did not intervene when we needed to. >> we would appreciate that. we would like to thank commissioner campos for his rapid interventionรง. commissioner mirkarimi: good. appreciate that. good work. colleagues, any comments or questions for our consultants? seeing none, thank you. you may have a seat. we appreciate the introduction. any public comment on this item?
11:47 am
seeing none, public comment is closed. this is an information item. madam clark, please read item 6. >> authorized the executive director to execute all master agreements, program supplemental agreements, fund exchange amendments, between the authority and the california department of transportation for receipt of federal and state funds. this is an action item. commissioner mirkarimi: very good. any comment from seeing none staffseeing -- seeing none, public comment. public comment is closed. we take this -- we did not do roll-call. [roll-call vote]
11:48 am
the item passes. commissioner mirkarimi: items seven, please. >> reappoint fran martin to the citizens advisory committee of san francisco county transportation authority for two year. this is an action item. commissioner mirkarimi: we take this without objection. congratulations. item eight. commissioner mirkarimi: public comment is closed. we did this without objection. next item. >> allocate $460 in prop k funds
11:49 am
with conditions to san francisco municipal transportation agency for two projects. this is an action item. commissioner mirkarimi: any discussion on this item? erikseeing none, public comment. public comment is closed. item 10, please. commissioner mirkarimi: i just had a quick question to staff on this. the reach of our authority on the climate initiatives program -- can you just explain that a little bit in terms of how that
11:50 am
would garner, and what that might garner in terms of grants? >>-understanding is that this is part of the delegation process. this is an opportunity for us to essentially show local support for the climate initiatives grant program so we can continue to advocate for the program in various capacities. the resolution provides a little bit more detail on that on page 87. commissioner mirkarimi: i'm looking at that. >> we also need that resolution in place in order to accept grants under the program. commissioner mirkarimi: ok.
11:51 am
any discussion on this? seeing none, public comment? public comment is closed. we take this without objection. introduction of new items. i'm sorry. next item. >> in the 11th, ethics annual compensation for the executive director for the period of january 1 through december 31. this is an action item. commissioner mirkarimi: this was handled by the personnel committee. any public comment? take this without objection, colleagues? so moved. i'm sorry. i did not see you. thank you. please take roll-call. >> [roll-call vote]
11:52 am
commissioner mirkarimi: aye. >> the item passes. commissioner mirkarimi: thank you. >> item 12. introduction of new items. this is an information item. commissioner mirkarimi: any information on new items? seeing none, public comment. public comment is closed. >> item 13, public comments. commissioner mirkarimi: one last chance for public comment. public comment is closed. >> item 14, adjournment. commissioner mirkarimi: meeting is adjourned. thank you.
11:53 am
>> what if you could make a memorial that is more about information and you are never fixed and it can go wherever it wants to go? everyone who has donated to it could use it, host it, share it. >> for quite a great deal of team she was hired in 2005, she struggled with finding the correct and appropriate visual expression. >> it was a bench at one point. it was a darkened room at another point. but the theme always was a theme of how do we call people's attention to the issue of
11:54 am
speci species extinction. >> many exhibits do make long detailed explanations about species decline and biology of birds and that is very useful for lots of purposes. but i think it is also important to try to pull at the strings inside people. >> missing is not just about specific extinct or endangered species. it is about absence and a more fundamental level of not knowing what we are losing and we need to link species loss to habitat loss and really focuses much on the habitat. >> of course the overall mission of the academy has to do with two really fundamental and important questions. one of which is the nature of life. how did we get here? the second is the challenge of
11:55 am
sustainability. if we are here how are we going to find a way to stay? these questions resonated very strongly with maya. >> on average a species disappears every 20 minutes. this is the only media work that i have done. i might never do another one because i'm not a media artist per se but i have used the medium because it seemed to be the one that could allow me to convey the sounds and images here. memorials to me are different from artworks. they are artistic, but memorials have a function. >> it is a beautiful scupltural objective made with bronze and lined with red wood from water tanks in clear lake.
11:56 am
that is the scupltural form that gives expression to maya's project. if you think about a cone or a bull horn, they are used to get the attention of the crowd, often to communicate an important message. this project has a very important message and it is about our earth and what we are losing and what we are missing and what we don't even know is gone. >> so, what is missing is starting with an idea of loss, but in a funny way the shape of this cone is, whether you want to call it like the r.c.a. victor dog, it is listen to the earth and what if we could create a portal that could look at the past, the present and the future? >> you can change what is then missing by changing the software, by changing what is projected and missing. so, missing isn't a static installation. it is an installation that is going to grow and change over time. and she has worked to bring all of this information together from laboratory after laboratory
11:57 am
including, fortunately, our great fwroup of researche e-- g researchers at the california academy. >> this couldn't have been more site specific to this place and we think just visually in terms of its scupltural form it really holds its own against the architectural largest and grandeur of the building. it is an unusual compelling object. we think it will draw people out on the terrace, they will see the big cone and say what is that. then as they approach the cone tell hear these very unusual sounds that were obtained from the cornell orinthology lab. >> we have the largest recording of birds, mammals, frogs and insects and a huge library of videos. so this is an absolutely perfect opportunity for us to team up with a world renown, very creative inspirational artist and put the sounds and sights of
11:58 am
the animals that we study into a brand-new context, a context that really allows people to appreciate an esthetic way of the idea that we might live in the world without these sounds or sites. >> in the scientific realm it is shifting baselines. we get used to less and less, diminished expectations of what it was. >> when i came along lobsters six feet long and oysters 12 inches within they days all the oyster beds in new york, manhattan, the harbor would clean the water. so, just getting people to wake up to what was just literally there 200 years ago, 150 years ago. you see the object and say what is that. you come out and hear these intriguing sounds, sounds like i have never heard in my life. and then you step closer and you almost have a very intimate
11:59 am
experience. >> we could link to different institutions around the globe, maybe one per continent, maybe two or three in this country, then once they are all networked, they begin to communicate with one another and share information. in 2010 the website will launch, but it will be what you would call an informational website and then we are going to try to, by 2011, invite people to add a memory. so in a funny way the member rely grows and there is something organic about how this memorial begins to have legs so to speak. so we don't know quite where it will go but i promise to keep on it 10 years. my goal is to raise awareness and then either protect forests from being cut down or reforest in ways that promote biodiversity. >> biodiverse city often argued to be important forhe